By Stu Salkeld The Stettler Independent
It may seem a long way off, but County of Stettler council is already looking at the 2018 road-building season. They reviewed road building projects prioritization during their regular meeting Nov. 8.
All councilors were present for the meeting.
Councilors received a memo from Rick Green, Director of Engineering and Public Works, updating the five-year road-building plan. The memo listed the top 15 road building projects in descending order of priority.
The memo went in depth in the top four projects, as follows: “County staff started land acquisition discussions and survey/design work on these projects in order of priority. The current status of these projects is as follows:
Priority 1: Rge. Rd. 205A; Twp. Rd. 352 from Twp. Rd. 350 to Rge. Rd. 210
“Landowner on north end has indicted no support for the project. Councilor Grover provided the information regarding alignment and required right of way to see if he is able to move the project forward.
“Survey work on available properties and road allowance has been completed. LIDAR data has been incorporated for lands where no permission has been given to allow design work to continue when time allows. Project abandoned pending future positive landowner support.”
Priority 2: Twp. Rd. 394 from Hwy. 850 to Rge. Rd. 183
“This project will be by-passed until such time as the bridge sized culvert within the project limits requires replacement through condition assessment updates.
“Progress has been made with some landowners (2015). County Engineering will work within existing agreements and road r/w to complete a design with a view towards it being shelf ready when construction is scheduled.
“Given the flat topography, efforts to design around the non-supportive landowner will be made; however the bridge pipe replacement may be an issue without landowner support.
“Brad will complete the survey within the road allowance when time allows, and incorporate LIDAR data for adjacent properties so we have a design ready when the project needs to push forward due to required bridge pipe work.”
Priority 3: Rge. Rd. 211 from Hwy. 601 to Twp. Rd. 402
“Further conversations with landowners have resulted in permission to survey some areas. The property owners adjacent the south wetland have stated support only is the road goes straight rather than curving around. This will likely negatively impact Water Act approvals. Brad has completed survey of land he has been given access to, and will incorporate LIDAR data to allow the design to be completed in areas where access has not been given.”
Priority 4: Rge. Rd. 191 from Hwy. 53 to Twp. Rd. 412
“Public Works has initiated contact with some landowners regarding introduction of the project and getting survey access to complete a design.
“Work has been postponed on these priority projects in favor of other projects with budget support. We currently have one small project in design (Rge. Rd. 18-3 @ SW 10-34-18 – length approximately 400m) with target construction in 2018 which was approved by Council July 6, 2017.”
Councilor Ernie Gendre asked if there were estimates for certain projects, either for county staff or contractors doing the work. Green responded none of the projects are budgeted so there’s nothing to work with yet.
Gendre said he’d like to see the county get the biggest bang for its buck.
CAO Tim Fox, responding to discussion among councilors, noted that between eight and 12 miles of road can be built per year, based on previous years.
Councilor Wayne Nixon said he felt that council should decide what money is available for road building first, then decide what fits into that budget.
Councilors accepted the memo for information.